Updating My 72 Hour Kits

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While preparing the blog post “How to Make a 72 Hour Kit” I pulled out my own kits to take some pictures. I realized the date on them was July 2006 so I decided I better rotate the food out since the recommendation is typically to rotate it every 6 months to a year. I opened the kits up and discovered that if we truly would have had an emergency these would not have been very pleasant to eat.

Top Ten Reasons I Needed to Rotate My 72 Hour Kit Foods:

10. Didn’t even have a kit for my youngest daughter (and she’s almost two!)
9. Stew expired July 2007.
8. Tang powder turned into crystallized lumps.
7. Beanie Weanies tasted rancid (yes I sampled them) and expired in 2007 as well.
6. Expired oatmeal although it didn’t taste too bad.
5. Raisins as hard as rock. Even my kids wouldn’t eat them.
4. Fruit roll-ups were smashed flat and REALLY sticky and gooey. I should NOT have let my kids attempt to eat them!
3. Expired noodle soup which also didn’t have any directions on the envelopes … hmmm.
2. Beef jerky was so hard that it killed my jaw to try to chew it and also had white powder on it that I am suspicious was mold. I hope I don’t get sick from tasting it!
1. The jolly ranchers melted all over the entire kit! Must have gotten overheated when we moved.

So not only would it have been gross in an emergency but now as I’m rotating it, the food is going to waste because it is so nasty and old.


Today I decided enough was enough. I took my kids to Walmart with my Printable Shopping List in hand. I bought enough stuff to make 6 kits (Julie likes me to get hers at the same time I’m doing mine) and it cost $49.50, so approximately $8.25 per kit. We didn’t need to purchase the stove, fuel pellets, matches, or spoons so to make a brand new kit would cost a few dollars extra. It took me about 30 minutes to empty out the old kits and put in the new food items. So I procrastinated for a whole year on something that took me less than 2 hours and about $30. I make myself mad sometimes.


While I was redoing my kits I was finally able to make the “video instructions” I have been meaning to put together since I did the original 72 hour kit post. Hopefully this will help you out if you are working on your kits for the first time!

Do you have your 72 hour kits prepared yet? When is the last time YOU rotated your 72 hour kits? What is your goal for when to get them replaced (if you have been a slacker like us)?

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